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Well, it’s July 2022.
I figured it was about time to dust this blog off and write a new post.
One might blame our new child for the lack of productivity around here, but I can’t blame little Max for this. The Max Out of Pocket crew has been unusually busy for a few months. Things like planning, interviewing, accepting a new job, and moving to a new state have taken priority over my writing hobby.
Additionally, my work counting healthcare beans required a higher level of effort than normal for a while there. It’s been a good busy, though. Not the kind of bad busy that launched this whole blog in the first place.
Procuring the time and energy to develop my writing hobby has been challenging. But as things settle down, picking the laptop back and writing again might make some sense. One thing this blog has offered me is a place to sort things out. I think that will come in handy in the coming months.
But let’s first get these fingers some exercise and start with a brief recap.
Paid Parental Leave
I took my four weeks of paid parental leave almost as planned. We started with a week off in July to stay around the New Hampshire house with little Max. I then took the first few weeks off in August to take little Max to New Brunswick, Canada. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to visit the highest tides in the world.
The paid parental leave is a nice benefit if you have it. It helps preserve one of my favorite benefits, paid time off. As I have mentioned before, I value this benefit at about 7.7% of my salary.
20 parental leave days / 260 annual workdays = 7.7%
That’s not bad. However, I have come to find that some employers offer 6 weeks or more paid parental leave. This includes Mrs. Max OOP’s newest employer. More on her new fancy benefits later.
30 parental leave days / 260 annual workdays = 11.5%
I will say, I didn’t find the work “buildup” I have seen in the past with long stretches off work. Sure, some things sit while I am out, but I have a good balance these days on what needs to be done and what can wait. I suppose if I had taken the whole four weeks all at once, that might have played out differently.
New Honda CR-V
I knew this was coming at some point, but I got forced into buying a new car on our way to New Brunswick last July. Our 2008 Honda Odyssey finally broke down on the highway. I literally rolled it into the dealership with belts falling off and power failures. We were in Augusta, Maine at the time. We brought a brand new Honda CR-V on the spot, and I ended up financing it.
I hope to take a closer look at this surprise transaction in a future post.
Max Sr. Visits
A few weeks after our trip to Canada, my dad jumped on a plane in Detroit and flew out to New Hampshire to meet his first grandson. It just so happens; we are all named “Max.” However, no juniors here; we all have different middle names.
My dad decided to treat this as a vacation and stayed in one of the fancy resorts right in town. It was less than two miles to his hotel, making visiting with a 5-month-old very easy. We even stayed at the resort a few nights and even got little Max in the pool. We also checked out Portland, Maine for a night when I dropped him at the airport.
We spent Halloween down in Boston. Halloween doubles my birthday, so I celebrated another trip around the sun with lots of candy. Little Max dressed up as a frog. Mrs. Max OOP and I didn’t want to steal any thunder, so we went with low-key Marty McFly and Jennifer costumes. I don’t think anyone recognized the costumes for what they were.
We also set up pumpkin people outside our house.
We stuck around New Hampshire this past Christmas. We figured our baby’s first Christmas would be best spent in our (income tax-free) winter wonderland. So, we made that happen. We spent the last few years with family down in Albany, New York.
This year, we got to have little Max’s grandmother (Nana) visit for the holidays. We even made a short trip to New York to pick her up. The trip through the Vermont/New Hampshire mountains was beautiful.
Our rental house in New Hampshire had become particularly tight now that we had one of our two bedrooms fully dedicated as the nursery. We were able to make it work, though.
New Year – New Job
We stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. I think that’s the first time in a while we made it up that late.
As the new year came around, we started seeing traction on job applications Mrs. Max OOP had secretly sent out. We generally don’t advertise to our friends and family when we are on the job hunt because you never know what direction things will go.
One application, in particular, was looking like it would turn into a flight and an onsite interview. Wouldn’t you know we would find ourselves moving to that state a little more than a month later? Looks like that training up in Canada is finally getting put to good use.
Other – Benched 225lbs
I finally put up 225lbs on the bench while we were still in New Hampshire. That is something I have been working my way up to for some time. 225lbs is two 45lbs plates on each side of the bar. For someone my size, this is a significant accomplishment.
A few weeks after completing this, I put it up for two reps.
I find it hard to believe more than three years ago I randomly decided to launch the Max Out of Pocket blog. Although I have been out-of-pocket for over a few months now, I am still happy with consistency over the years. It’s been a good hobby and one I needed at the time.
If there is anything my writing hiatus proves is that life keeps moving at a record pace whether you are writing about it or not. Our passive income keeps coming in, job opportunities present themselves, moves happen, and taxes get paid.
I even noticed my blog went down for most of June 2022 due to my lack of general maintenance of the site. Perhaps that is the real motivation behind this post.
It’s been a fun few months, and I expect the next few to be even more interesting as we adjust to our new life in our new state.